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The British Isles by Covens & Mortier.

Covens & Mortier. A Map Publishing House in Amsterdam. 1721-1866.

During almost two centuries, the largest and most important Dutch publishing house in the field of commercial cartography was the Amsterdam firm of Covens & Mortier. Concerning quantity, it was possibly even the biggest contemporary map-trading house worldwide. They distributed innumerable maps, atlases, globes, and books.

The house Covens & Mortier (1721-1866), was founded by Johannes Covens I (1697-1774) and Cornelis Mortier (1699-1783), at the Vijgendam in Amsterdam.

The collaboration started after the death of Pieter Mortier (1661-1711), son of a French political refugee, who in 1690 had obtained the privilege to distribute maps and atlases of French publishers in Holland. His widow continued the business until she died in 1719. Her son Cornelis, under his father's name, took over the management for a few years.

On November 20, 1721, a company was founded by Cornelis Mortier and Johannes Covens I. The latter was married the same year with Cornelis's sister. From that year on, the name of:

Covens & Mortier.

Their firm would see a massive expansion in the next 140 years. In 1732 the heirs sold the property to their brother Cornelis and his partner Covens. Their main competitors were Reinier & Josua Ottens and Gerard Valck & Petrus Schenck. After the death of Johannes Covens I (1774), his son Johannes Covens II (1722-1794) entered the business. From 1778 a new company name was added:

J. Covens & Son.

Johannes Covens II was succeeded by his son Cornelis Covens (1764-1825), who, in turn, brought Peter Mortier IV, the great-grandson of Petrus Mortier I, into the business. The name was from 1794 to 1866:

Mortier, Covens & Son.

The last Covens in the series was Cornelis Johannes Covens (1806-1880).

Covens & Mortier had a large stock of atlases and maps, including those of: Delisle, Jaillot, Johannes Janssonius, Sanson, Claes Jansz. Visscher, Nicolaas Visscher, and Frederik de Wit. For decades, an impressive number of atlases came from the press.

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Les Isles Britanniques ou sont le Royaume D'Angleterre Tiré de Sped Celuy D'Ecosse Tiré de Th. Pont et Celuy D'Irlande Riré de Petti., 1730.

€500  ($585 / £450)
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Item Number:  25680
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > British Isles
References: Shirley (BI to 1750) - Mortier 1

Old map of the British Isles by G. de L'Isle.

Cartographer: G. de L'Isle

Date of the first edition: c. 1708
Date of this map: 1730

Copper engraving
Size (not including margins): 46 x 57.5cm (17.9 x 22.4 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Shirley (BI to 1750), Mortier 1.

From: Atlas Nouveau ... Par Guillaume de l'Isle ... Amsterdam, Covens & Mortier, 1730.

In about 1708 de L'Isle's general map of the British Isles, first produced in Paris in 1702, was copied by Pierre Mortier for publication in Amsterdam. The plate is slightly smaller and no engraver or designer's signature appears. Above the top border there is an additional Latin title: "Magnae Britanniae Tabula, Comprehendens Angliae, Scotiae, ac Hiberniae Regna, Ad Usum Serenissimi Burgundiae Ducis". The map itselff, and the decorative features, are almost identical to those by de L'Isle.

Covens & Mortier. A Map Publishing House in Amsterdam. 1721-1866.

During almost two centuries, the largest and most important Dutch publishing house in the field of commercial cartography was the Amsterdam firm of Covens & Mortier. Concerning quantity, it was possibly even the biggest contemporary map-trading house worldwide. They distributed innumerable maps, atlases, globes, and books.

The house Covens & Mortier (1721-1866), was founded by Johannes Covens I (1697-1774) and Cornelis Mortier (1699-1783), at the Vijgendam in Amsterdam.

The collaboration started after the death of Pieter Mortier (1661-1711), son of a French political refugee, who in 1690 had obtained the privilege to distribute maps and atlases of French publishers in Holland. His widow continued the business until she died in 1719. Her son Cornelis, under his father's name, took over the management for a few years.

On November 20, 1721, a company was founded by Cornelis Mortier and Johannes Covens I. The latter was married the same year with Cornelis's sister. From that year on, the name of:

Covens & Mortier.

Their firm would see a massive expansion in the next 140 years. In 1732 the heirs sold the property to their brother Cornelis and his partner Covens. Their main competitors were Reinier & Josua Ottens and Gerard Valck & Petrus Schenck. After the death of Johannes Covens I (1774), his son Johannes Covens II (1722-1794) entered the business. From 1778 a new company name was added:

J. Covens & Son.

Johannes Covens II was succeeded by his son Cornelis Covens (1764-1825), who, in turn, brought Peter Mortier IV, the great-grandson of Petrus Mortier I, into the business. The name was from 1794 to 1866:

Mortier, Covens & Son.

The last Covens in the series was Cornelis Johannes Covens (1806-1880).

Covens & Mortier had a large stock of atlases and maps, including those of: Delisle, Jaillot, Johannes Janssonius, Sanson, Claes Jansz. Visscher, Nicolaas Visscher, and Frederik de Wit. For decades, an impressive number of atlases came from the press.

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